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Poster: stratocaster Date: Aug 9, 2012 4:33pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Battle of The Dead Shows

Round 1 Madison Square Garden

09-10-1991 w/ B.Marsalis vs. 09-22-1993 w/ D. Murray

1991 - pros -1991 was generally a solid year, still riding the momentum of Bruce Hornsbys presence and energy. Classic April 1 show and some very strong shows in June and September. Cons - a very dense and at times cluttered stage sound with the addition of Vince Welnick and the 2 keyboard/ piano mix, Garcia really had a strained sound to his voice at many shows in 91.

1993 - in 1993, Garcia emerged from December 1992 looking more fit and displayed some great playing at many Spring 93 shows, summer was solid, a new guitar for Jerry in August led to a brief renaissance of the last of Garcia's great playing in September, that tour culminated with the 09-22 show...

side by side these shows offer some similar set list material to compare and the presence of a saxaphone player


Shakedown Street
C.C. Rider >
It Takes A Lot To Laugh It Takes A Train To Cry
Black-Throated Wind
High Time

Help On The Way > Slipknot! > Franklin's Tower
Estimated Prophet >
Dark Star >
Drums >
Space >
Dark Star Reprise >
I Need A Miracle >
Standing On The Moon >
Turn On Your Love Light

It's All Over Now Baby Blue


Set 1

Help On The Way -> Slipknot! -> Franklin's Tower
New Minglewood Blues
Ramble On Rose
When I Paint My Masterpiece
Bird Song

Set 2

Easy Answers
Lazy River Road
Estimated Prophet ->
Dark Star ->
Drums ->
Space ->
Wharf Rat ->
Throwing Stones ->
Turn On Your Lovelight

I Fought The Law


The first set is close, I mean Shakedown and Lot to Laugh Train to Cry and a more than solid Black Throated Wind and Deal...but 09-22 holds its own with an opening Help Slip Frank loaded with precision jamming and really big Phil riffs...a classic Ramble on Rose..Bird Song is huge and when Murray comes in the jam just lifts off...this late drive ties the score at halftime

Second half

09-10 looks strong out of the age with their own play call of HSF. This version features the sax, which lends some interesting textures in slipknot!
Easy Answers and Lazy River Road are like two bad running plays in a row, but all is quickly forgotten with an outstanding rendition of Estimated Prophet, which I would say is better than the version from 09-10...the Dark Star dual ends in a space 09-10 makes a late push...things are close as 09-22 gives us a potent Wharf Rat and Throwing Stones, but the field goal is missed with an I Fought The Law...09-10 seals the deal with one of the better Standing on the Moons, the Baby Blue encore is the chip shot to win the game...

Tight score in the end, but 09-10-1991 is the better all around show, but don't let that poopoo on 09-22-1993, this is one of the last great shows of the Grateful Dead...

This post was modified by stratocaster on 2012-08-09 23:33:30

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Poster: Dudley Dead Date: Aug 10, 2012 8:01am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Battle of The Dead Shows

Both are better shows for the era . You make some good points for the 92 show . Usually, the post Bruce era is dismissed as all crap .
The choice is not an easy one . I would say in the first set, the 91 has it, but that "Bird Song"...
the playing is pretty great on both . But what, would make me choose the 91 show , is the 92 show has some of Weir's most overplayed songs ,"Throwing Stones" and "Minglewood", and one of the most annoying Dead song ever "Easy Answers" . Also "SOTM", is a little more interesting that another "Wharf Rat" , great song that it is .
Of the Encores, "Baby Blue" wins, but I am one of the few, who likes their "I Fought The Law " .
Frankly, both show are more interesting to me than the usually highly thought of late Brent era show ( of which a box set is headed our way ).

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Poster: staggerleib Date: Aug 11, 2012 11:51am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Battle of The Dead Shows

I have to say it again. I'm tired of the Vinnie bashing. Yes, he was not Brent, nor was he Bruce. He had to, like others before him, step in and fill some pretty big shoes. Even after 11 years with the band, Brent was still called "The New Guy". Brent had begun finally to not only add keyboard elements, but to add some significant songwriting to the band when he died. You may not love the saccharine songs that Brent was adding, but they were no doubt in rotation, and instrumental.

However, Vinnie was also a wonderful keyboard player, with fantastic skills and a musical sensibility that was simply different than those of Brent. He had a great voice, and a musical heritage that's not to be trifled with. He had been the keyboard player for The Tubes, as well as Todd Rundgren's go-to guy for years before his interview to fill Brent's shoes. He did well. Of course, it all went to hell as the band was really in its decline during those years. Jerry was in failing health, and much of the music was poorly regurgitated. But Vince added new songs to the repertoire, quite a bit of British invasion, Beatles, Stones, The Who, just as Brent added quite a bit of Traffic, and much Spencer Davis (he loved Steve Winwood).

I think that he actually added elements of sonic quality to the band that meant quite a bit to me, and in many ways his presence reinvigorated the band for a while.

I know that I'm biased, being a huge Todd Rundgren fan, but I truly enjoyed Vinnie's addition to the band.

What happened with him was so very sad. How hard must it have been for a guy with certain elements of bipolarity in his psyche to have the greatest gig on earth pulled out from under him? I wish he'd not been as disrespected by the remaining members of the band after Jerry died.

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Poster: micah6vs8 Date: Aug 11, 2012 12:20pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Battle of The Dead Shows

I liked his backup vocals in Fire quite a bit. The band, someone, should have turned him down in the mix. The most grating thing for me was that he was so high in the mix and had so little to offer in comparison to the rest of the band. When you can't hear a Jerry solo too well b/c of Vince (usually playing the song the same way every time) it can get on your nerves. He wasn't a good fit, but I agree with you that he tried. I never got the feeling that he was just mailing it in. His era in band history also hurts hum. All I will say in Samba in the Rain and leave it at that.

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Poster: staggerleib Date: Aug 11, 2012 12:30pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Battle of The Dead Shows

Yeah, Samba was a bad song, but again, it's difficult to wrap up a whole career in a song.

I would agree, though, that he was mixed into the overall sound very poorly. It's a shame.

And I don't agree that he was not flexible in his playing. He was a great improviser. I just feel that he was still starting to get into the swing. At the beginning, just after the Mag 7 lineup finished, he did have a lot of adjusting to do. Later, he improvised very well.

The story I heard was that his interview/audition was very quick, they heard that he could sing high harmonies, and that he was adequate on the keys. That was the extent of it. They wanted to get back on the road.

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Poster: TOOTMO Date: Aug 11, 2012 1:54pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Battle of The Dead Shows

"Yeah, Samba was a bad song..."

Wait till ya get a "Samba" earworm!!


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Poster: micah6vs8 Date: Aug 11, 2012 12:40pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Battle of The Dead Shows

GD were quite the wolf pack at that time, playing grab ass at Brent's funeral, ect. I have also heard about his audition. Maybe later his playing became better, but by then it was almost all over with the band, and few listen to '94 or '95. I never thought he was a negative guy or lazy, maybe way in over his head. I'm sure the Marin mafia didn't exactly open their arms to him, but I could be wrong. His was a tough go any way you look at it.

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Poster: lobster12 Date: Aug 10, 2012 4:57pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Battle of The Dead Shows

1991 by far. Thats a five star gig in any era.

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Poster: and improved! Date: Aug 9, 2012 5:35pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Battle of The Dead Shows

This is the featherweight round, right?